In the early '60s, there was a rock band in Shillong that went by the name of Night Wings, which somehow couldn't make it big. Then, in the late '90s some students from the Northeast tried to reinvent this band as Night Wings - II, influenced by the heavy metal mania. However, that too didn't survive for too long.
We now have this Jaipur-based heavy metal band that is made up of four passionate musicians calling itself, Night Wings-III, evidently carrying forward the same 'night wings' legacy in its own style. However, it seems as if it's here to stay.
Their passionate demeanour comes across loud and clear through their approach to music, evident in their gig titled Democracy Under Seige, which was a part of their heavy metal gig at Tao lounge on Saturday evening.
During an interaction, the four band members, Anish, Jatin, Mayank and Aniket, clarify that they are not posers, but have instead, a definite reason to play heavy metal, which is characterised as a very powerful and loud form of music evoking a sound that might seem aggressive and brutal.
Talking about their love for music, they add that they also believe that music is a vehicle to vent out their frustrations about issues they don't agree to. No surprise then, that Democracy under Siege showed anger and rage.
Jatin, 26, and Anish, 29, had conceived the band in 2007, and were later joined by Mayank, 22, and Aniket, 21. Explains Aanish, the lyricist and vocalist of the band, "Everyone has a different way of expressing their anger. Our choice is heavy metal." He points out the triggers of their frustrations, the 'many systematic failures in our country, for instance dirty politics, caste system, human oppression, exploitation and so on.'
Lead guitarist Jatin adds that they aren't a bunch of guys living in slumber. Wanting to react to the wrong doings of the society, heavy metal's aggressiveness gives them freedom, he adds. "Our music and lyrics are aggressive and it gives us the power to react strongly and even say 'F**k you' on stage," Jatin says.
The band has been performing actively since 2010, and toured all major cities of India. Agreeing to harbouring differences in opinion, the band members say their motto remains 'producing aggressive and rock solid music when the begin composing.'
The members say they are aware that many in the country might not understand heavy metal well, nor are there regular gigs happening. However, the scenario is changing, they insist. Says Aniket, "Metal culture in India remained unknown mostly due to the nature of its music. But courtesy various contemporary musical festivals in India, such as NH7 and Indian Musical Conference, Bengaluru, a platform has been made available for different bands to perform different genres of music."
In their case, says Anish, they have stuck to their original compositions since the very beginning. Their themes too, he adds, are not politically based every time. To elaborate, he gives an instance, "One of our recent songs is inspired from an infamous Jaipur murder case, in which a person was cut in to 35 pieces. We went to the victim's place and sat there for over an hour to feel what we would have felt had we been butchered like that. This is how our song, 35 Pieces was written."
Interestingly, they have also not succumbed to the pressure of playing cover songs, though there came many recommendations to the effect. Mayank says, "Staying glued to composing originals is the reason we are performing well today. In fact, we are now waiting for our debut album to come out, and also have plans to tour North-East Indian states."
Much like rock music, heavy metal is known to have many sub-genres. But the band's stand is the same as their resolve to not use their last names. 'We are a metal band and strive to be best in this music, so we don't believe in sub-genres."